Lykke Li Releases Intimate, Free 'Lost Sessions Vol. 1'

Marc Hogan

The cover star of SPIN's 2011 "Next Big Things" issue just capped the year with yet another reason to fall a little bit in love with her sleek, expansive style of pop, only this time it's a lot lower-key. Last night, artsy Swedish dynamo Lykke Li posted The Lost Sessions, Vol. 1 as a free download on her blog. Stream or download it below.

The three-song set consists of raw, stripped-down versions of songs from this year's Wounded Rhymes, Li's aching yet tremendously compelling sophomore album. Sure, producer Bjorn Yttling's savvy additions are a huge part of Li's albums, but she's dazzled in an unadorned setting plenty of times before — check out her piano-driven"Tonight (Demo)," or, more recently, her acoustic Righteous Brothers cover "Unchained Melody" — and Lost Sessions offers similar revelations.

Lost Sessions version of brash Wounded Rhymes opener "Youth Knows No Pain" could almost be an old field recording of a work song. Which only makes sense: Li might not yet have achieved the superstardom she deserves, but her hustle is tough to deny. And remember, Wounded Rhymes is No. 10 on our 50 Best Albums of 2011.

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